Yesterday Jeb Bush revealed an outline of his plans for the enforcement of immigration laws and increased border security, saying that both needed to be implemented before he or any other president could start to deal with the legal status of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
“Finding a practical solution to the status of the people who are here illegally today is a non-starter if our borders are not secure against future illegal immigration,” says the former Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate nominee. The comments were made in a statement released before the Republican Party candidate forum on Monday night in New Hampshire, with the party’s first presidential primary debate set to be held later this week.
One of the most common policy points with most Republican candidates is a need for tighter border security before any comprehensive overhaul of the immigration laws in the United States can begin; however, Bush’s decision to take this tack is notable given that for months he has been defending his stance of supporting the creation of a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants ‒ a belief that has caused controversy amongst many Republican supporters.
Bush has taken a softer line on immigration than many of his colleagues in the Republican Party and completely rejects the idea of deporting undocumented immigrants en masse. “The idea of self-deportation, of rounding people up, is not an American value,” he says. “Americans reject that idea.”